2015 Verse of the Week #25: Galatians 5:16 & 22-23

This week’s verses are Galatians 5:16 and 5:22-23. The song on “Seeds of Character” is called “The Fruit.” If you haven’t memorized this list of the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit, or you want to teach it to your children, I highly recommend this song! Here are the verses in the English Standard Version:

Galatians 5:16

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh

Galatians 5:22-23

But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

This is going to be a mini-post. I am currently in the middle of a local service project “camp” with our church’s middle schoolers and am still not good at preparing posts in advance, so I’ve stolen a few moments to write now. And it is actually because of the kindness and goodness of a fellow believer that I can have this time… she drove my team of students to the pool so I could get to an appointment I couldn’t miss, and it just made sense to eat supper at home before heading back.

Having this list of attributes committed to memory helps me SO much. I have found that the Spirit brings to mind this list, or just specific parts of it, when I am faced with temptation. There are often times when what I want conflicts with what God wants for me, but ultimately I want to walk by the Spirit and become more like God, and because the Spirit dwells with me in my mind, He knows just when to contrast my selfishness with His attributes. For example, if I would be tempted to gossip I might find myself thinking of kindness instead. If I feel like complaining I may remember patience or self-control. If I feel like lashing out the Spirit may prompt me onto the path of peace.

I’m not saying it always happens, or that I always choose the Spirit’s way. I have failed many times! But I have also been a recipient of gracious guidance many times. Hiding this part of God’s Word in our hearts, meditating on their meaning, and practicing them in our lives will lead to a growth of the fruit we display!

Something I learned at some point in my college years (I think? I wish I could remember) was that this list from Galatians 5:22-23 is not a list of fruitS (plural), but fruit (singular). As cute as it is to present children with colorful images of peace as a banana and joy as a pineapple, which is how it seems most of us learn this list, the original language is actually pointing us toward one thing. I found the image below and loved that the fruit of the Spirit was represented as a multi-colored but singular shape. I hope you will enjoy the image, and find yourself producing fruit as you walk by the Spirit and allow him to work in your life!

 

from Challies.com

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